How Do Propane Stoves Compare to Other Types of Stoves?


Quick Answer

Propane stoves tend to be the easiest stoves to use, as the only setup required is attaching the fuel canister to the stove. Propane is also widely available and the tanks come in multiple sizes, allowing campers to choose the best size for their trip.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, the different fuel types used for stoves are propane, white gas or "Coleman fuel," unleaded gasoline, kerosene and a butane/propane mix. Each type of stove can have one, two or three burners.

Propane is reliable in normal weather conditions, as the canister provides a steady output of gas. When the temperature is below freezing, the cylinder pressure drops and decreases the output. For below-freezing conditions, liquid fuel is more reliable than propane. Propane stoves aren't as hot as white gas stoves, which provide the most heat of all the stove types.

Propane stoves tend to be more reliable than butane/propane mix stoves, but butane/propane mix canisters are lighter. Propane and white gas are the most expensive types of fuel. However, propane costs can be reduced by investing in a refillable propane tank instead of using disposable canisters. Unleaded fuel is the cheapest fuel available, and costs about one-tenth as much as propane. Kerosene also costs less than propane, but has become less popular due to its odor and the smoke it creates.

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